Scheduled Monument

Cullicudden, church and burial groundSM13346

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (

The legal document available for download below constitutes the formal designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The additional details provided on this page are provided for information purposes only and do not form part of the designation. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within this additional information.


Date Added
Crosses and carved stones: tombstone, Ecclesiastical: burial ground, cemetery, graveyard; church
Local Authority
NH 64960 65070
264960, 865070


The monument is the remains of a late medieval church and its graveyard, which contains a fine collection of carved grave-slabs, some dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. The church is visible as the gable end of an upstanding masonry structure, located within a roughly square graveyard. The monument is located on the Black Isle to the S of the Cromarty Firth at 26m OD.

The upstanding ruin comprises the SE gable end of a structure formed mainly of pink-hued coursed sandstone and boulders, with a central doorway and window. The gable end stands up to 3.5m high and is about 5m wide. This fragment may have formed part of a burial aisle or part of the church. The date '1609' is inscribed on the lintel stone of the doorway, but the site overall is likely to be earlier as the burial ground contains carvings from the 14th century. External niches for plaques or other sculptures are set above and on either side of the central window. Parts of the SW and NE walls adjoining the gable stand to a maximum height of 1.3m. The NE wall has been re-faced and three modern gravestones are embedded into its external elevation. The SW wall has two gravestones set into its internal face and is built mainly of irregularly coursed boulders.

The burial ground is roughly square in plan, measuring 52m NW-SE by 49m transversely, and contains numerous grave-slabs and funerary monuments dating from the 14th to the 19th centuries. The earlier grave-slabs are largely buried below the turf, but their outlines can be traced. They appear mainly to cluster around the church on a slightly raised sub-oval area measuring 28m NE-SW by 14m NW-SE, which may be the core of the earliest burial ground. Along the NW side of the raised area is a stone and earth embankment.

The scheduled area is irregular in shape and includes the remains described above and an area around them in which evidence for the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling specifically excludes: the above-ground elements of all modern boundary walls; the top 300mm of all modern paths to allow for their maintenance; all burial lairs where rights of burial still exist; and any 20th-century burial monuments.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as the remains of a late medieval church and burial ground, containing a fine collection of carved grave-slabs and funerary monuments dating from at least the 14th to the 19th century. It can significantly enhance our understanding and appreciation of Scotland's medieval and later church sites. It is of particular importance because of its long chronological range, with the carved stones demonstrating that the site was in use from at least the 14th century. The monument can add to our understanding of developments in memorial practice through periods of significant devotional change, including the Reformation, and concomitant developments in burial and memorial practices, stone carving styles and symbolism. The grave-slab bearing the pierced hand of Christ is a particularly rare survival. The monument would have formed a prominent part of the late medieval landscape and is now a picturesque ruin in the contemporary landscape. The loss of the monument would significantly diminish our ability to understand the origin and development of medieval and later church sites, and the changing nature of burial ritual, memorial practice and sculptural funerary traditions over 500 years, in Ross and Cromarty and further afield.




Alston, D 1999, Ross and Cromarty; a historical guide, Edinburgh.

Cowan, I B 1967, 'The parishes of medieval Scotland', Scot Rec Soc, vol 93, Edinburgh.

RCAHMS, 1979, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The archaeological sites and monuments of the Black Isle, Ross and Cromarty District, Highland Region, The archaeological sites and monuments of Scotland series, 9, Edinburgh.

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map (see ‘legal documents’ above) showing the scheduled area is the designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary and provided for general information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within the statement of national importance or additional information. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at

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Printed: 18/06/2024 09:47